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Jonathan Power 2004

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Power Columns 2004


December 30, 2004
A blind eye on Guatemala?
Eight years ago this week, after 200,000 unnecessary deaths, 40,000 "disappearances" and 440 decimated villages, peace formally came to Guatemala. It is beginning to clean itself up inside as well as out. But it is a slow, slow process. The judges remain corrupt and the police ill trained and incompetent.

December 23, 2004
Yesterday's war headline binds its wounds
There is a sense of a great peace. Both sides of the political divide have cooperated in ending the killings, torture and intimidation that were de rigueur.

December 20, 2004
Turkey's destiny in Europe
We Europeans have to think hard about our prejudices. We have been raised on Shakespeare's witches' brew of "nose of Turk and Tartar's lips", Dante's portrayal of Mohammed in hell ...We have to put this behind us. Turkey has earned its passage to Europe.

December 9, 2004
More imagination needed if we are to control the spread of nuclear weapons
Imagine for a moment that the U.S. gave up all its nuclear weapons, a totally farfetched idea but..Here are some likely good consequences.

December 2, 2004
The Ukraine could push us back to the Cold War
The Ukrainians must find a way of resolving this crisis in a way that Russia can accept.
The West needs to re-think its whole post Cold War policy towards Russia. The U.S. should put a stop to its aggressive geo-political strategy and Europe must use the lure of European membership for both countries to keep Russian and Ukrainian democracy and behavior on the straight and narrow.  

November 30, 2004
Means of spreading democracy
Why should those in the West who want to extend the reach of democracy be pressed by Washington and London to choose between intervention and inaction? Why choose between two types of failure when the successful course of action is known?

November 20, 2004
History does not justify either Israel or Palestine
The truth is that neither side has a cast iron claim to their own state on the land the British called "Palestine", and the sooner their leaders tell their people that the sooner there might be honest discussions about a peace.

November 12, 2004
The chance of ending Europe's last homegrown terrorist cause
As Blair talked to Sinn Fein, Zapatero needs to talk to Batasuna and he needs to rescind Aznar's ban on the party contesting seats in the Basque regional parliament. Moreover, he should withdraw his opposition to Ibarretxe's planned referendum on Basque self-determination.

November 3, 2004
Both Bush and Kerry want to ratify the Law of the Sea Treaty this month
The Law of the Sea came into force ten years ago this month. It gave the world a chance to arrange for mankind a fair distribution of its common patrimony of the seas. It could be a model to other endeavors like the slicing up of oil-rich Antarctica and Artic Ocean, the future frontiers of the moon, the planets and outer space. Some say it's a Magna Carta for the 21st century.

October 30, 2004
New evidence against the war on civilizations
The main cause of war today is not religion but poverty. To diminish war we need to look at how the West's own companies and arms traders contribute to wars. We need to accelerate economic development - and more UN-type peacekeeping. The myth of
militant Islam on the rampage the world over must be knocked down. More than anything else this is reason for wishing for Bush's defeat.

October 20, 2004
China is forgotten in the U.S. presidential contest
It might well be true that the U.S. relationship with China has never been better. But there are important issues and critical decisions to be made. Kerry didn't raise them and America's China policy will be the weaker for it.

October 14, 2004
EU must not suspend its arms embargo of China
If it does it will destabilize the region around the Taiwan Strait. It should come up with a better idea, but it can't The status quo is the best for everyone and Europe should undermine it. But there is a split at the top of the EU...

October 7, 2004
The danger of Sudan repeating Rwanda
I fear for the worst. Real substantive action is still grossly inadequate. In ten years' time will we still be analyzing what went wrong or will we shout now?

September 29, 2004
Why Chile must finally prosecute Pinochet
Could it be that the Pinochet affair is now moving inexorably towards its denouement?

September 22, 2004
Israel's nukes serve to justify Iran's
The supposition is that Israel lives in an even more dangerous neighborhood than Iran. It is a beleaguered nation under constant threat of being eliminated by the combined muscle of its Arab opponents. But this argument simply doesn't stand up. (In the International Herald Tribune).

September 15, 2004
Indonesia's presidential elections and the move to democracy in the Islamic world
The two big wings of Islam -Turkey in the West and Indonesia in the East - are reforming and changing at a lightening pace...

September 8, 2004
Beslan and the crude instinct of solving problems by warfare
War is sometimes perhaps necessary. But in too many cases it degrades the fighter and his cause.

September 1, 2004
Europe must not define itself against America
Discusses what would make Europe a new type of superpower.

August 24, 2004
Cambodia is work in progress in creating norms of international justice
Cambodia incarnates the worst horrors of being caught in the crossfires of war

August 18, 2004
Debating the morality of going to war
Published as TFF PressInfo 199

August 12, 2004
There is no news in Sweden
If all the world were like Sweden there would be no news to report.

August 9, 2004
Is Saudi Arabia the latest country to benefit from Washington's blind eye on nuclear weapons?
Meanwhile at home, rather than setting a good example by freezing weapons development, the Administration has been seeking an increase in research funding for two new kinds of nuclear weapons.
Is hypocrisy the tribute that vice pays to virtue? But if so where do we go from here?

July 29, 2004
Different notions of pre-emption
Bush-Blair are now chiding Kofi Annan and the UN for moving into Iraq in a less than full-hearted way. I think we can see through this game. We so-called "Venuses" will be left holding the howling, hungry baby whilst its Martian father makes off through the back door.

July 21, 2004
A new wind behind human rights law
All manner of influences are driving U.S. law to practice what political leaders have preached against - the globalization of U.S. human rights law.

July 16, 2004
Tony Blair's two great mistakes
On the Butler Report and Europe - Parliament for now may absolve him of these momentous double errors. History won't.

July 6, 2004
Around the world - Bush's good points
If Bush loses in November he will be leaving the world - Iraq and Israel/Palestine apart - a better place than he found it. Who to thank? Colin Powell or the left side of Bush's own brain? The historians will have to tell us, since the press has conspicuously failed to keep us informed.

June 30, 2004
The North Korean bomb and the media hype
Confrontation, Pyongyang reasoned, was the only way to get results. And it is indeed producing results. Bush is ready to negotiate, but quietly. The press has gone quiet in lockstep. Yet still North Korea has the weapons of mass destruction that Iraq didn't.

June 24, 2004
It's right to welcome communist support for the government of India
It's long been said that one needs a long spoon to sup with the devil, a saying that in the twentieth century was used often in the context of an alliance between democratic political parties and communists.

June 16, 2004
On June 19th the new Indian government has its first talks with Pakistan
about their nuclear weapons

Since the early 1970s- the time of India's first nuclear explosion- India and Pakistan have been walking along the unmarked, mountainous, path that leads to nuclear holocaust.

June 9, 2004
The death of Melvn Lasky, editor of Encounter
The world of ideas isn't such a bleak place as he sometimes liked to think.

May 31, 2004
How Iraq might defeat the mighty USA
It goes without saying that victories of the weakest are a minority outcome. One doesn't have to go back to Thucydides to be convinced of that- the bombing of Afghanistan, Belgrade and the first Gulf war are evidence enough. Yet it happens enough to be worrying.

May 24, 2004
Talking to the new prime minister of India
The first interview with Manmohan Singh since he took office. He outlines his vision for India and reveals how he thinks about making peace with Pakistan.

May 21, 2004
The uselessness of big nuclear missiles
We need Zero Ballistic Missiles, ZBM. The whole corrupting psychology of nuclear arms possession that somehow justifies nuclear possession as being OK for us but not for them has to be turned on its head. Not before time there is a debate re-surfacing on ZBM. This is the right place to begin the battle against nuclear proliferation.

May 12, 2004
In defence of torture ?
Probably torture deeply corrupts the countries who tolerate it. For America and Britain this time round the use of torture clearly seems to have irredeemably lost them the battle for the hearts and minds of the Muslim world.

May 6, 2004
Watching India overtaking China
In reality India is better placed for future growth. India has much more "intellectual capital" to offer than China. Watch the tortoise continue its course as the hare starts to lose its breath.

April 28, 2004
Talking to Sonia Gandhi
It is rare a journalist arriving for an interview with a politician doesn't get a handshake, especially so when they are totally alone. But that is how it was with Sonia Gandhi.

April 23, 2004
Why does Latin America so lag behind North America?
Here were two continents, side-by-side, equally endowed by God and nature. One prospered whether in its U.S. or Canadian variants. The other, including Mexico, crawled from one upheaval to another.

April 14, 2004
Can Brazil move from Third to First World?
In the favelas of Recife the mood remains hopeful. I overheard one gas pump attendant debating with a friend. "With a new job Lula has to learn", he said with conviction. Many of the older favelas of Recife have been improved and upgraded by the hard work of the residents themselves.

April 7, 2004
Back to an out-of-the-way Brazilian village
Brazil has long made a kind of progress- in the last century it was second only to Taiwan as the fastest growing economy in the world- but it has been appallingly uneven.

April 1, 2004
Brazil's Change
Brazil has been savoring its moment of glory with the election just over a year ago of this quite astonishing man. Fantasies and dreams are all very well, but now Lula and Brazil have no choice but hard grind.

March 25, 2004
Luring Israel into the European Union
The lure of membership of the European Union is working with Turkey, Romania, Croatia, Macedonia and even to a lesser extent with Serbia. So why not with Israel? Europe could offer the Jews a security a fence never could.

March 19, 2004
Taiwan's election on Saturday is a confrontation with both China and the US
For many, and perhaps even most Taiwanese, this is not just a question of semantics but also of principle and, not least, of history.

March 12, 2004
After Haiti, is US human rights policy confused?
There is an unthought out belief circulating in the human rights community that under the Bush administration the U.S. stance on human rights has sharply deteriorated.

March 12, 2004
Madrid on elections eve needs to emulate Northern Ireland when dealing with the Basque terrorists
As with its counterpart, the Northern Ireland conflict, the continuation of Basque nationalist terrorism in Spain is too fueled by historical sentiment and myth on one side and by narrow minded authoritarianism on the other for easy settlement.

February 27, 2004
Running back to the UN
As Iraq shows, American opinion, along with that of its main allies in Iraq, is coming to appreciate the UN. The hope must be that this time Washington learns from the experience.

February 25, 2004
Europe and Japan have to re-think immigration
Immigration has enabled western industrial societies to put on hold problems it should have been forced to confront earlier.

February 16, 2004
Washington is reaping what it helped sow in Pakistan
It is the old, sad story, of the powers-that-be in Washington not seeing the big picture, of trying to take short cuts for the sake of political expediency and, in the Cold War days, of having an ultra-reactive reflex to all and everything Moscow did.

February 6, 2004
We need to think through the impact of sanctions
If it is time to review the procedures that persuaded President George Bush and Prime Minister Tony Blair that Iraq possessed weapons of mass destruction then it is surely time overdue to examine the impact of sanctions.

January 28, 2004
Wednesday's publication of the Hutton report could lead to Blair's demise
If Margaret Thatcher was, in her own words, a "lady not for turning", Blair is a politician who says to himself "je ne regret rien" and, grey faced and exhausted though he looks according to intimates, believes he has done the right thing.

PressInfo # 194, January 28, 2004
Europe shouldn't imitate the U.S. on the military front
Europe doesn't figure much in the Democratic primaries any more than it does in the White House. Perhaps it is understandable why France, Germany and Belgium, and to some extent, Britain, are pushing hard for Europe to have its own defense identity.

January 16, 2004
Speeding up and internationalizing Saddam's trial will help the cause of human rights
Any delay in putting Saddam Hussein in the dock on war crimes charges is going to make the work of introducing democracy more difficult.

January 9, 2004
The perils of African oil
Nigeria along with Angola, Gabon, Equatorial Guinea, Sao Tome, Cameroon and, more recently, Chad and Sudan have become crucial players in the world's energy stakes

January 2, 2004
On Thursday Haiti, the dark island, will have celebrated 200 years of independence
Haiti- dangerous yesterday, dangerous today- will always hold the world's attention.

January 2, 2004
What makes the Nigerians the happiest of all people?
"What makes for human happiness?" The answer seems to present itself in Nigeria.



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